Kathy Burke, 58, considered taking own life due to menopause struggles
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Kathy Burke, 58, made the brave and candid admission during a recent interview, revealing that she “couldn’t bear” being a woman after her hormone levels dropped. The famously chirpy beloved actress and comedian had been unable to take HRT after the menopause set in, due to it clashing with other medications she’d been taking – and the oestrogen deficit left her emotionally raw.
The star revealed she’d always been prone to bouts of depression – but she hadn’t been expecting to dip as low as she did.
The complications began aged 40, when she was hospitalised and subjected to stomach surgery to treat the painful digestive disorder, diverticulitis.
The condition is caused by inflammation or infection in small bulges that can develop inside the intestinal wall – which can lead to agonising cramping pain.
Her devastating health decline took place shortly after she had celebrated huge successes in her professional life, including a Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role in the Gary Oldman film Nil By Mouth.
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While she was in hospital, eagle-eyed doctors spotted that she was also suffering from an immune disorder which placed her at risk of developing blood clots.
“My immune system [went] out the f****ng window, my adrenal glands clotted and bled,” she shuddered during an interview with the Observer.
To help her body to produce adrenaline, medical staff recommended that she start a course of steroids, which she continued to be reliant on for 17 years.
However, she was warned not to mix medications, meaning that she was unable to go onto HRT (hormone replacement therapy).
Without treatment for the dramatic symptoms of menopause, Kathy’s mental health began to crumble, with devastating consequences for her personal life.
“I didn’t want to go anywhere because I hated being a woman during my menopause,” she confided to the Observer.
“I was like, ‘Why am I a woman?’ I couldn’t bear it.”
The star admitted the hormonal upheaval left her prone to “dark suicidal thoughts”, adding that, to her, the menopause had been “the biggest b*****d” amongst the female anatomy”.
She felt “isolated” and went as far as making plans to kill herself, before thankfully having a change of heart.
The star had concocted elaborate plans about how she would take her own life, before recovering from her depression.
“Once I’d made that decision, I could relax … then the depression started to lift a wee bit,” she tragically recalled.
Kathy had a troubled early life, with her mother dying when she was a baby.
She was forced to temporarily enter the foster care system due to her father’s dependency on alcohol, but has excelled in her career in adult life, and, as her website suggests, is now “one of the most loved British actresses of her generation”.
“I’m so glad I didn’t kill myself during menopause. That would have been a bit of a shame.
me through the other side, and I’m f***ing delighted I did,” she revealed jubilantly.
If you or someone you love is experiencing mental health issues, depression, or menopause-related symptoms, contact your GP, call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit the website at samaritans.org for a non-judgmental helping hand 24 hours a day.
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